Alchemy is a skill in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and is one of the six skills that falls under The Thief play-style. Alchemy is the art of combining raw ingredients with matching effects to produce potions and poison. It is one of the three crafting skills in Skyrim falling under The Thief with parallels to Smithing for The Warrior and Enchanting for The Mage. As such is affected by The Thief Stone and, as with all skills, is affected by The Lover Stone.
Ingredients are used to construct potions. Each ingredient in Skyrim has four possible effects that are unknown until they are discovered by the Dragonborn during play. Effects can be revealed by brewing a potion with two or more ingredients that share an effect. The first effect is also revealed by 'eating' the ingredient, which immediately causes the effect on the player after consumption. With perks, all four effects can be found by eating a single ingredient.
All alchemy merchants sell recipes from time to time and they can also be found as loot. Recipes will list ingredients that share a given effect which helps limit the experimentation required to find the effects of each ingredient.
Brewing potions requires an Alchemy Lab which can be found in various locations throughout Skyrim such as alchemy supply shops, private studies, occasionally inns, court wizard's quarters, and can be purchased for player-owned homes. When interacting with an Alchemy Lab the Dragonborn will see a menu. At the top is 'ingredients' which opens a sub-menu which lists all the ingredients in inventory. Below ingredients will be a list of all known effects on all ingredients in inventory which each open a sub-menu which lists only ingredients that share that effect.
Potions and poisons
Potions and poisons are items produced as the result of brewing at an Alchemy Lab. Their effects can fill or increase stats like Magicka or Health, strengthen skills like One-Handed, Smithing, alter the player with Invisibility, or produce strong poisons like Slow, Paralyze or Lingering Damage Magicka. Brewed potions always have a name describing the dominant effect given by the potion. Unlike found potions, which can have alternate names and usually only one effect, brewed potions always have one consistent name, regardless of the number of effects contained. This can lead to some confusion when finding a potion to consume from your inventory. The value of a potion is derived from the number of effects and their magnitude regardless of if the effects are all beneficial or harmful.
The following actions raise the alchemy skill:
- Mixing a potion at an Alchemy Lab. More valuable potions increase Alchemy skill faster.
The following books provide a permanent one-time increase to the player's Alchemy Skill. See each book's page for a list of possible locations.
- A Game at Dinner
- De Rerum Dirennis
- Herbalist's Guide to Skyrim
- Mannimarco, King of Worms
- Song of the Alchemists
The following Miscellaneous Quests increases Alchemy or improve the results of Alchemy. Completing a quest for the Alchemist merchants will also allow you to take the ingredients on display without stealing.
- In Dawnstar at The Mortar and Pestle for Frida - Retrieve Ring of Pure Mixtures for Frida
- Find Song of the Alchemists for Lami in Morthal
- In Whiterun at Arcadia's Cauldron for Arcadia- bring frost salts to Arcadia.
- Retrieve Finn's Lute for Inge Six Fingers at the Bard's College in Solitude awards the player with one level of every Thief governed skill, including Alchemy.
- Discerning the Transmundane can award the player with five levels of every Thief governed skill, including Alchemy.
- A Return To Your Roots awards the player with the alchemy boosting effect Sinderion's Serendipity which provides a 25% chance of producing an extra potion.
- Main article: Trainer
|Arcadia||Expert||Arcadia's Cauldron, Whiterun City|
|Babette of the Dark Brotherhood||Master||Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary or later Dawnstar Sanctuary|
The following are the perks that become available to select as the skill is leveled up:
|Alchemist (5)||Alchemy 20 / 40 / 60 / 80 / 100||Potions and poisons are 20% / 40% / 60% / 80% / 100% stronger.|
|Physician||Alchemy 20, Alchemist||Potions you mix that restore health or stamina are 25% more powerful.|
|Poisoner||Alchemy 30, Physician||Poisons you mix are 25% more effective.|
|Benefactor||Alchemy 30, Physician||Potions you mix with beneficial effects have an additional 25% greater magnitude.|
|Experimenter (3)||Alchemy 50, Benefactor||Eating an ingredient reveals first two effects (+1 effect per additional rank).|
|Concentrated Poison||Alchemy 60, Poisoner||Poisons applied to weapons last for twice as many hits.|
|Green Thumb||Alchemy 70, Concentrated Poison||Two ingredients are gathered from plants (description is misleading - two ingredients or food items are gathered from any static harvest-able object - be it plant, fungi, hanging fish or meat, egg clusters, etc.) Known exception: Nirnroot (has only 1 root).|
|Snakeblood||Alchemy 80, Concentrated Poison, Experimenter||50% resistance to all poisons.|
|Purity||Alchemy 100, Snakeblood||All negative effects are removed from created potions while all positive effects are removed from created poisons.|
Make a smithed item, an enchanted item, and a potion
- Main article: Alchemy Tips